Compromise NDAA includes many union priorities to improve pay, working conditions for employees in DoD and other agencies
WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees thanks members of the Senate and House for including many of the union’s top priorities affecting employees in the Department of Defense and other federal agencies in the compromise text of the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.
“This legislation will improve pay and working conditions for civil service employees both inside and outside the Department of Defense and achieves many of our union’s top legislative priorities for the year,” AFGE National President Everett Kelley said. “I urge the House and Senate to pass this legislation swiftly and send it to President Biden for his signature.”
Among the key AFGE-backed provisions realized by the compromise NDAA:
- Eliminate a Senate provision that would have delayed the sunset of the two-year probationary period for newly hired Department of Defense civilians at the end of 2022, bringing DoD in line with the one-year probationary period used at most other federal agencies.
- Prohibit the Department of Defense from reducing the end strength of military medical personnel for the next five years accompanied with specific civilian employee backfill and hiring plans to address persistent civilian vacancies in support of the Defense health program.
- Require the Department of Defense to make technical data requirements decisions and core logistics and total force management risk assessments to inform strategic workforce planning on the number of miliary, civilian employees, and contractors needed to operate and sustain major weapon systems early in the acquisition life cycle.
- Clarify provision so military exchanges can continue to operate and provide the full range of goods to military families.
- Eliminate proposal to privatize Navy and Air Force lodging programs.
- Provide an additional $235 million to the Defense Commissary Agency and another $2.5 billion to the Defense working capital fund benefiting the organic industrial base.
- Clarify the computation of depot carryover in the Army to ensure stability of depot core logistics funding.
- Create an automatic presumption of disability for federal firefighters who develop heart disease or certain forms of cancer so that they can qualify for workers’ compensation.
- Require the Department of Defense to conduct geographic studies on the pay and benefits for child care providers at military child development centers compared to similarly skilled employees outside DoD.
- Require the Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct annual base and locality pay surveys for health care positions at medical centers to ensure competitive pay rates.
While the NDAA includes many of the union’s legislative priorities, AFGE is profoundly disappointed that the compromise bill excludes legislation passed by the House that would extend full Title 5 rights and equal pay to employees at the Transportation Security Administration.
“The nation’s transportation security officers have been treated like second-class citizens for far too long, and we call on Congress to rectify this unequal treatment by including full Title 5 rights in the omnibus spending bill now being debated,” Kelley said.
The compromise bill also excludes a provision previously passed by the House that would give the District of Columbia mayor the same authority over the National Guard that governors of states and territories have.